amazing art by lois van baarle


I have this dream about raining fire.

On all fours.


Hands and knees.

Elbows bent.

Open palms against dark, wet soil.

A little boy with oily brown hair, tiny gap between his baby teeth, button missing from his shirt…

A series of lightless tunnels, endless turns, splintery stumps sprouting up from below.

Never changing, except…

faster, faster, faster.

Sweat drips down my forehead, between my eyes, down my nose–salty, dirty, so I spit it out but…

I can’t see the place where it falls.

Rocks and roots.

The tunnel narrows.

There’s a door but…

pad locks and thick vines with thorns and rubbery caps.


I have this dream about raining fire.

Thick canopy of Spanish moss and ivy hangs down low…lower.

I swat at what’s in front of me, but I can’t see my attacker.

So I duck and dodge, bob and weave, grit my teeth, forge ahead.

There once lived a little girl.

Red and white stripes on her too-small T-shirt,

canvas sneakers with her church dress,

Bruises, nightlight, little paper books with crayon marks on the inside cover,

Ariel pillow, homemade but special,

Pocahontas ragdoll,


I still sleep with my face buried in the pillow, blanket over my head.

Make it stop.

Make it stop.

Make it stop.

Make her stop.

Make them stop.

Make it stop.

Thunder and lightning, and sometimes, just lightning.

Thunder is kinder because at least there’s a certain sort of warning–you can hear it rumble in the distance.

Lightning hits out of nowhere, stopping ,stunning, shaking, rendering speechless, restless, humbled?!

You can’t help but be humbled.

You can’t help.

You can’t.



I have this dream about raining fire.



A little boy trapped in a burning vehicle he should have never been in, too far from home.

Haunts me.

Winne the Pooh and Elmo.

Quiet waves in passing.

Timid smile.

Little fingers.

There’s no room left for anger or hate.

My heart’s too full of something else…





So much for love…

So much for…

So much.